No matter how hard you train in your workouts, you can’t out-train eating poorly. There are some people who are genetically better suited to look okay when they eat poorly while training, but their bodies are still getting damaged. Their insulin levels are still altering their blood sugar and diabetes is still a big threat to their future. I like to call people who get away with it, “Skinny fat people.” They look thin on the outside but on the inside, they’re a mess. I’ve seen more than a few thin people who look like they should run a 6:00 mile but can’t jog around the block.
Humans were designed to store fat in times of famine. We were not designed to store fat for no other reason than to eat ridiculous amounts of food, and the wrong foods. Companies like McDonalds and Cola Cola are spending a lot of money to sell you magazines of people in plus sizes like it’s a good thing. This might hurt your feelings, but it’s not a good thing. It’s not good for your joints, your brain or your organs. I’m all about loving who you are and not crapping on yourself, but that has to come with a balance of making good choices. Your excuse that genetics is getting you down is so rare for people, it probably doesn’t apply to you. That may be another painful truth but it’s the truth. Very few people are helpless in their diet, especially with how far we’ve come in medicine and treating thyroid dysfunction.
I made a lot of bad choices growing up and I was 50lbs overweight. I had to change my lifestyle and learn what to eat and when to eat it. My personal weakness is potato chips (and was baked goods, candy and ice cream at one time) and I went from having them regularly (every couple of days) to now having them maybe every two or three weeks as a little treat (and I now exercise about ten times more often compared to my youth).
You have to consider not only what food does to your body in the case of bodyfat and unnecessary fat storage, but what it’s doing to your brain and your body. You can’t perform at your absolute best if you eat at Burger King regularly or if you go to takeout at lunch. Your regular cookie needs to go. It adds absolutely no nutritional value to your body. And that makes a big difference. The highs and lows of poor eating is enough to raise your risk of alzheimers or clinical depression. Alcohol abuse can affect how well you sleep at night, which will seriously impact your performance the next day and your recovery for future workouts.
I eat anywhere from 4000 – 5000 calories in a day and I now stay lean with that because it’s part of my calorie requirements given my training and activity level. You have to find the right balance for you and eat the right foods when you do it. Consume good fats. Eat good meat source proteins. Consume some carbs and unless you’re running a three hour race, keep those carbs from whole grains and not starchy processed foods. And remember, you might hit the gym and feel great after (and you should!) but that isn’t a reason to eat anything that isn’t going to help you reach your goals afterward.
It’s time to cut the cable between you and bad food. Not tomorrow. Not later today. Not Monday or next month. Right now. That’s how you succeed. This is a way of life, not a diet. Those athletes you see with great looking bodies got that way by eating right and exercising. Few of them set out to have six-packs (at least the ones I’ve spoken to). To keep abs shining year-round (not a bodybuilders peak day) you need a good lifestyle that you can maintain for life.